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Watkins Historic Collection of Landrace Wheats
Formally known as "Watkins Selections of Landrace Wheats" by the GRU, this is a collection of landrace wheats (durum and aestivum forms) from 32 countries around the world assembled in the late 1920s by A. E. Watkins in Cambridge. The collection initially consisted of several thousand accessions the majority of which were lost while being stored during WWII and in the aftermath. The current collection stands at 1291 accessions. The collection was sent to Australia but transposition of lines in the field means that this cannot be treated as a duplicate collection. As landraces are usually mixtures, many of the accessions still retain variable levels of genetic heterogeneity. In addition, during a century long effort of regeneration, some pollen cross contamination is inevitably expected. In more recent times a renewed interest in characterising and utilising the genetic variation within this collection resulted in the stabilisation through SSD of 830 lines at JIC, available from GRU as the “Watkins Stabilised Collection of Hexaploid Landrace Wheats ”.